~ In this view you can see the Massolino winery at center.  Note the stainless tanks ~

In 1896, Great-Grandfather Giovanni Massolino founded the Vigna-Rionda Massolino estate.  Today, three generations of Massolino’s work the farm alongside each other, honoring the tradition that Giovanni started.  Brothers Giovanni and Renato are in charge of the vineyards and cellars respectively, while Giovanni’s grandson now oversees the winemaking.    

While Massolino’s Barolo are considered to be crafted using “traditional”  techniques such as large botte, long macerations and  Slavonian casks,  grandson Franco has begun incorporating slight touches of modern innovation.   Massolino’s Barolo are excellent.  They focus on the Crus Margheria and Rionda and the 2006 Rionda received a “Tre Bicchieri” award.

~ Massolino’s vineyards slope down from the winery ~

Today we’re focusing on the estate Barbera d’Alba.   I typically prefer Barbera from Alba over its sibling wine, Barbera from Asti because I tend to perceive the latter as being more acidic.  

The 2013 Massolino Barbera d’Alba didn’t change that perception,  though I was surprised by the seemingly low amount of acidic structure in the wine.   It’s a gorgeous purple color with violet streaks; so fresh and pretty to look at.  The aroma is replete with crushed raspberry, spice and a round sort of buttery note.  The wine is vinified in 100% stainless steel and as many winemakers have told me in the past,  aromas that “feign wood”  in cases like this are typically imparted from the yeast used during the fermentation.  

On the palate, the wine is medium bodied – perhaps a bit too much so – with a nice core of raspberry character that is accented by soft red plum notes. There’s a touch of pepper on the finish but little tannic or acidic structure to speak of.   This paired nicely with sauteed chicken with mushrooms and wild rice and is very accessible.   Drink now and over the next two years.   87 points.  Approximately $13.  

~ Pretty color to this accessible early maturing Barbera d’Alba ~

Salute!

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